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Biocat promotes in India scientific and commercial relations between Catalonia and Asia

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Today, 7th February 2008, the international fair of biotechnology "BioAsia08" has opened its doors. The opening act has counted with the presence of the Vice President of India, Hamish Ansari, and of the Prime Minister of Andra Pradesh, Y.S. Rajasekhara. This last has greeted the President of Biocat, Manel Balcells, and has thanked him for the participation of Biocat and the Catalan delegation which includes the company Salvat Biotech, the scientific parks PCB and PRBB, and Barcelona City Council.

Manel Balcells, during the inaugural ceremony, has manifested his will of strengthening the scientific and commercial relations with India through the Catalan and Indian actors of the cooperation in the biotechnological sector. Some of them present in the fair and in the whole represented by Biocat. These proposals and Biocat participation in BioAsia is part of the collaboration Protocol signed by Biocat and AIBA (All India Biotech Association) at the beginning of last year. The president of Biocat has also proposed Catalonia as a port of entry in Europe.

Balcells has shared table with Professor D. S. Bajaj, General Secretary of the Federation of Biotechnology Associations of Asia, and with Professor Martin Evans, 2007 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work with mother cells. Evans has received the Genome Valley Excellence Award of hands of the Indian Vice President.

BioAsia is an event of great importance for India and for the state of Andra Pradesh and its capital, Hyderabad, who hosts the event. India is a country of huge contrasts, where biotechnology clusters coexist in a strange harmony with a society with huge lacks. In this sense, it is necessary to mention the significant social commitment to biotechnological large companies leading the sector, like Serum Institute of India, Biocon, Shanta o Biological E. The BioRegion delegation had the opportunity to learn about the activities of the two last companies named above during yesterday's visit to Genome Valley, Andra Pradesh biomedical cluster.

The visit to Genome Valley took place on Wednesday 6th February and included a roundtable on the scientific parks role in clusters' development. It also scheduled meetings with managers of the main Indian cluster companies, as the biotechnological Biological E, which occupies a surface of 70,000 m2 in Genome Valley devoted to research and production, mainly of vaccines, and that has relations with some European countries like Austria. During the roundtable on scientific parks, Biocat managing director, Montserrat Vendrell, spoke about the BioRegion of Catalonia assets. The capacities of the Catalan biocluster were again exposed by Vendrell in the afternoon, during the session dedicated to the Asian biotechnological industry and its partners worldwide. There were representatives of Canada, Catalonia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Iran and of the European Federation of Biotechnology, EFB.

Biocat has made diffusion of the Catalan companies and research institutions with its exhibition space in the fair. At the same time, Biocat makes a prospection work of the Indian sector to explore partnering possibilities for the Catalan companies in Asia and to contribute reinforcing the already existing ones. Examples of these relations are the agreements between Salvat Biotech and the big Indian pharmaceutical company Dr. Reddy, which Salvat Biotech, Biocat, COPCA and the Barcelona City Council representative will visit next Friday, or the contacts already done with Biocon, the second Indian biotechnological company.

In line with this objective of introducing Catalan companies and research institutions, Biocat will offer an official closing reception on Saturday 9th February.

More information: Ms Montse Daban, Corporate Communications Manager, Biocat

BioasiA fair website:

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